Do Coleus Like Sun Or Shade: [Complete Care Guide]

The coleus, an amazing plant that grows well in sunlight and shade, is now available in various colors, sizes, and shapes. Previously, it was only accessible in multicolored, shade-only varieties. The coleus leaves look great in planters, pots, and window boxes and are tucked among other perennials and annuals in the flower bed.

Coleus plants like morning light and afternoon shade. Some plants can withstand prolonged exposure to the sun in humid environments. When grown indoors, coleus plants require a powerful grow light to generate colorful foliage; even in relatively dry locations, they can still grow foliage.

Bright and colorful Coleus plants may bring much beauty to your yard. These plants, also known as flame nettles, are simple to grow if you meet their sunlight and water requirements. In general, Coleus plants thrive in warm climates.

coleus sun plant

Does Coleus Like Sun Or Shade

Coleus plants thrive in warm climates and can develop into vibrantly colored foliage plantings in fully or slightly shaded gardens. Some species like direct sunlight, while others prefer partial sun; shade and partial shade are ideal for Coleus plants. The best time for development and growth is in the morning, with midday shade preferable.

While most of today’s vegetatively propagated Coleus types prefer full solar radiation, seeded versions prefer shade. The overall climate of these plants also depends on their ability to withstand sunlight. All varieties of Coleus require shade in hot, dry conditions; coleus plants require more sun exposure for good growth in chilly areas.

Some hybrid Coleus flower variants are resilient and can endure full sun from early morning to late afternoon without exhibiting any indications of overexposure. Most Coleus plants need 6 hours of direct sunlight in the morning, preferring shade throughout the afternoon.

The type of plant you are cultivating in your yard and flowerbeds will determine this. Some contemporary Coleus types, particularly those grown in humid regions, can withstand full sun exposure throughout the day. Examine the label of the Coleus variety before planting it outdoors or indoors to determine whether it can withstand the amount of solar exposure.

Remember that the plant will need an acceptable quantity of sun exposure for you to acquire the finest coloring. As a result, for the optimum survival and color display, you might wish to select Coleus cultivars with darker hues if your yard gets full sun throughout the day.

In pots, Coleus flowers are rather simple to grow indoors. All you need to do is set them under a nice LED grow lamp. You should purchase a grow lamp that offers some warmth along with full range, sun-like light since plants appreciate the warmth.

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Placing the pot close to a window in your home that obtains bright sunlight will allow you to boost its growing light with natural sunlight. Try to relocate the plant to areas with indirect light for the afternoon, or just set it beneath a low-intensity growth light.

Coleus plants thrive in dappled sunlight and begin to lose their color in direct sunlight. Simply put, they dislike excessive sun exposure. The older leaves begin to fade due to overexposure and lose color noticeably.

When growing Coleus plants in direct sunlight, snip off the old leaves to encourage the growth of new, more colorful leaves. To avoid color fading, you might wish to adjust your sunlight exposure to match recommended levels of sunshine.

Remember that certain Coleus types can reach heights and widths of 3 feet, so you might want to give them a little cut now and again to prevent them from encroaching on nearby plants.

Coleus Varieties For Sun

Coleus is frequently referred to as the shade queen. Used to provide color and brightness to gray areas and a place that is frequently uniformly green and shaded. The more recent Coleus types available, nevertheless, are designed to withstand sun exposure.

It is important to remember that Coleus cannot just be planted in full sunshine and expected to flourish. You should carefully consider the sun’s direction in your garden and the intervals of the day when your Coleus will receive the most sunshine.

The good thing is that many types of Coleus can tolerate sunlight as long as certain considerations have been made. When subjected to full sun, their hues become more vibrant.

Below are some Coleus species that adore the sun. As previously indicated, most of these varieties will thrive in sunlight, but they should always be protected in some way from too direct sunlight.

Colorblaze Golden Dreams

It features brilliant golden leaves with crimson veins running through the center of each leaf. The red will become more noticeable when this type is in direct sunlight. Part of the red over the veins will be lost for a solid red. The contrast is still pretty dramatic. The size of this variety makes it ideal for pairing with red Coleus.


The Coleus wasabi is excellent. The vivid chartreuse hue and fringed texture provide pots and gardens with a splash of vibrancy. This one can withstand a range of circumstances, including direct sunlight. It will turn a deeper golden green.

To create an even stronger contrast, put Wasabi beside dark crimson or purple plants. Alternatively, for a striking contrast, position the leaf with the fringed texture next to a plant with more rigid foliage, such as a cordyline dracena.

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Main Street Rodeo Drive

This variety in full sun has eye-catching leaves. The leaves are chartreuse and have deep ruffles. Then a rich burgundy color is used to speckle and define the margins. The burgundy will become deeper with more sun. To make the speckles stand out, combine this with other burgundy flowers like raven ipomea.


Redhead Coleus is a vivid red coleus that, when frequently exposed to sunlight, will turn an even more vivid shade of red. Its leaf is more delicately pointed with a jagged blade. The next time, the chartreuse foliage looks fantastic.

Coleus Varieties For Shade

You can select Coleus types adapted to low light circumstances for partially sunny or gloomy regions. Below are some of the Coleus varieties for shade.

Coleus Dipt In Wine

This wonderful variation is also a hit with the public. This variety, whose hues are quite similar to “Chocolate Covered Cherry” and “Chaotic Rose,” has a peculiar speckled appearance on its leaves that makes it appear as though wine-colored reds are flowing off every single leaf. This brings more color to the entire plant, almost like a mosaic.

Coleus Fishnet

Any landscape benefits greatly from the texture added by “Fishnet” Coleus. This type will stand out because of the vivid purple veins highlighting the jagged cut leaves. Try the variant “Under the Sea Fishnet” for a more gothic appearance. A close cousin who is also a very courageous sibling.

Coleus Henna

‘Henna’ is a great textural plant as well. This Coleus will undoubtedly give some diversity to a pot or even a whole bed with its ruffled leaves and unusual reddish-brown color. Like Coleus ‘Indian Summer,’ Coleus ‘Henna’ adds a greater purple hue than the stronger reds.

coleus sun shade

Coleus Trusty Rusty

The stunning combination of a red center and a pale yellow-green border is called “Trusty Rusty.” This type is also among the more popular ones and is utilized in vases and beds as individual plants, borders, or even group plantings. This type, which adds that extra dash of color, is flexible.

Final Thoughts

While Coleus prefers partial or complete shade over direct sunlight, the amount of light absorption depends on the type. While newer cultivars such as the Wizard series thrive in full sun, the traditional seed-grown Coleus fares best in partial to full shade. In most traditional Coleus cultivars, the excessive sun can burn the leaves and cause them to lose their color.